September 24, 2014 weblog
Microsoft display adapter brings device info to big screen
An item called the Wireless Display Adapter from Microsoft can beam video from your PC or phone to your TV. If your PC can run Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 and your wireless display supports Miracast, you might want to check this new device. The adapter is available for pre-order in the U.S. and Canada and it will be generally available next month, for $59.95. The adapter connects to an HDTV, monitor, or projector and allows users to share content from any Miracast-enabled device, which includes various PCs and tablets running Windows 8.1. You can use this to share what you are doing on your PC, whether presenting a slide show or wanting to play a game on a larger screen. Miracast is generally described as a peer-to-peer wireless screencasting standard using Wi-Fi Direct connections. Other descriptions note that Miracast is technology that allows you to output video and audio to and from different devices.
Brandon LeBlanc of Microsoft did the introductions to the adapter on Tuesday, asking readers, "Have you ever had something on your phone that you really wanted to show to your friends and family, but they had to huddle around you and your PC, tablet, or smartphone just to show them?" With the Wireless Display Adapter, he said that he does not have to worry about getting guests to huddle around a device, because now "All the content I care about, along with audio, is easily shared on the big screen."
He said he used it with a Dell Venue 8 Pro and Lumia 1520. He said the Microsoft Wireless Adapter also works with Android devices. (The technical data sheet lists compatibility information as "All Miracast enabled Windows 8.1 devices including Surface Pro 3, Surface 2, Surface Pro, and Surface Pro 2, Miracast enabled Android devices 4.2.1 and later.")
How it works: Plug the USB and HDMI from the Wireless Display Adapter into your HDTV or monitor, connect, then mirror or extend your screen, said Microsoft, and enjoy. "Because the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter uses Miracast technology, you're not limited to certain apps or content streaming. It'll show anything and everything from your device," said LeBlanc. The adapter delivers a reliable connection with up to a 23-foot range.
While the adapter is sure to interest users with friend and family entertainment in mind, he was sure to highlight the adapter's business application potential too. "The other thing that is really slick is being able to open Office documents – like a PowerPoint slide deck – and have it shown on my HDTV through the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter," he said. "This makes it a great tool for use at work – in a conference room – and not just at home. Remember, the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter works with projectors and monitors too, so no more searching for the right, fitted adapter that plugs into your laptop every time you're presenting."
Writing about the adapter on Tuesday, Chris Welch in The Verge similarly mentioned the benefit of choosing Miracast. Welch said, "individual apps don't need to bake in support as they would with Chromecast; if the device running an app has Miracast, it should work."
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